Varieties of Revelation: Scripture, Theology, and Philosophy in the Perspective of Divine Disclosure

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2024 | Viewed by 4331

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Social and Political Sciences, Corvinus University Budapest, 1093 Budapest, Hungary
Interests: philosophy; theology; religious study; political sciences; ethics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Special Issue Varieties of Revelation: Scripture, Theology, and Philosophy in the Perspective of Divine Disclosure aims at publishing high-quality original articles dealing with the problems of divine revelation and its interpretations in Biblical scholarship, theology, and philosophy. Submissions should address central themes such as the definition of divine revelation in the Bible and Biblical traditions; how revelation is interpreted at the theological and philosophical levels; how revelation is lived in various spiritual cultures and practices; and what kind of logical, hermeneutical, phenomenological, existential, and political problems can be identified and explained in relevant traditions with respect to the forms and contents of divine disclosure. Articles may also deal with the question of various models of divine revelation and their relevance to contemporary religious and intra-religious discussions. Book reviews of important publications about related problems can also be submitted. 

Given the historical, theological, and philosophical background of the problem of divine revelation since the rise of Deism up to the developments of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries one can see the growing interest in the related questions in academic communities. These questions date back to the ancient history of religions which also offer important insights into the relevance of divine epiphany on the historical and comparative trajectory. Revelation in the strict sense, i.e., the notion of apocalypsis in Hebrew, Christian, and Muslim authors offered a new focus on the problem of divine disclosure, a focus variously considered in theological and philosophical approaches throughout the subsequent centuries. In contemporary discussions we see sophisticated theological and philosophical debates both in the continental and the analytical traditions as well as in the interreligious comparative approaches that dominate many aspects of religious studies. While many authors emphasize the importance of divine otherness, mystical traditions sometimes offer the opposite view of radical immanence. In other directions, divine revelation is sometimes considered in terms of its relevance to theoretical and practical changes concerning various minorities of race, gender, and personal identities. An important aspect of the problem of divine revelation is the recurring rise of views of dissent, often branded as sectarian or even heretical, that are worth careful consideration.

This Special Issue is open to articles on various aspects of this conglomerate of problems related to the forms, contents, and relevance of divine revelation. 

Prof. Dr. Balázs M. Mezei
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • revelation
  • divine disclosure
  • theology
  • philosophy
  • hermeneutics
  • Scripture, inspiration
  • eschatology
  • mysticism
  • interfaith dialogue

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 289 KiB  
Article
“Beyond the Window That Can Never Be Opened”—Roger Scruton on “Moments of Revelation” in Human Life
by Ferenc Hörcher
Religions 2024, 15(4), 485; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15040485 - 15 Apr 2024
Viewed by 698
Abstract
This study addresses Roger Scruton’s understanding of what he called “moments of revelation”. In two short essays, both entitled “Effing the ineffable”, Scruton framed his discussion of moments of revelation with reference to the medieval Christian mystical discourse. Introducing the medieval discussion of [...] Read more.
This study addresses Roger Scruton’s understanding of what he called “moments of revelation”. In two short essays, both entitled “Effing the ineffable”, Scruton framed his discussion of moments of revelation with reference to the medieval Christian mystical discourse. Introducing the medieval discussion of this topic, this study provides an analysis of Scruton’s approach to the theme. In tune with the traditional discourse on revelation, his general aim was to demonstrate that there are ways of revealing important truths about the supernatural, of the world “beyond the window”, that do not require words to be pronounced. He calls our experiences of such phenomena moments of revelation and identifies four different transitory sources of revelation. This study deals with them one by one, after considering whether it is right to label such a revelation transcendental. The four sources of Scruton’s moments of revelation are natural beauty, the beauty of painting, the beauty of music, and personal encounters. The first three examples are connected to his thoughts on art and beauty as a substitute of divine revelation. Perhaps the most surprising of these is the last ones, moments of intersubjective human relationships, “our knowledge of each other”. Relying on both Buber and Levinas, Scruton makes the strong claim that it is in the other that we can experience that world “beyond the window”. His phenomenological exploration of human encounters sheds light on concepts like grace, shekhinah, or real presence and gift. He explains the Christian understanding of the human–divine relationship as well along the lines of the nature of interpersonal human relationship, both of them being in a certain sense, he claims, transcendental. From grace, his account moves forward to self-sacrifice and finally arrives at his idiosyncratic understanding of gratefulness for life. His moments of revelation in art and interpersonal exchange turn out to be, indeed, late and secular versions of the Christian understanding of revelation. In its summary, this study claims that revelation, understood by Scruton as a form of general human experience, allows to catch a glimpse of that which is beyond the window, by the direct, sensually based experience of either the existence of another person or of the beauty of nature and art. Full article
22 pages, 380 KiB  
Article
Phénoménologie de la Vérité: The Phenomenological Roots of Hans Urs von Balthasar’s Theology
by Balázs M. Mezei
Religions 2024, 15(4), 409; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15040409 - 27 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1066
Abstract
Hans Urs von Balthasar, one of the leading theologians of the twentieth century, uses the methods and results of classical phenomenology in many ways. Balthasar’s repeated criticism of Husserl, Scheler, and Heidegger conceals the fact of his dependence on these authors in various [...] Read more.
Hans Urs von Balthasar, one of the leading theologians of the twentieth century, uses the methods and results of classical phenomenology in many ways. Balthasar’s repeated criticism of Husserl, Scheler, and Heidegger conceals the fact of his dependence on these authors in various ways. The present text examines the implicit and explicit phenomenological elements in Balthasar’s thought. As a starting point, the title of the first French translation of one of his early books, Phénoménologie de la vérité, is used to outline the context of Balthasar’s endeavor. In what follows, I will show the phenomenological features of some of his major writings, analyze what he himself calls supernatural phenomenology, and argue for a more consistent phenomenological methodology that Balthasar could have worked out had he carefully considered the internal development of the phenomenological movement. “Apocalyptic phenomenology” emerges as the general title of an approach that links Balthasar’s methodology to that of the major phenomenological works, properly examined and extended. Full article
15 pages, 285 KiB  
Article
Christian Revelation as a Phenomenon: Jean-Luc Marion’s Phenomenological “Theology” and Its Balthasarian Roots
by Beáta Tóth
Religions 2024, 15(2), 216; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15020216 - 14 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 906
Abstract
This essay examines Jean-Luc Marion’s phenomenal model of the Trinity expounded in his recent book D’Ailleurs, la révélation (2020) and attempts to give an initial assessment from a theological perspective. Since Marion’s programme is largely indebted to the Roman Catholic theologian Hans [...] Read more.
This essay examines Jean-Luc Marion’s phenomenal model of the Trinity expounded in his recent book D’Ailleurs, la révélation (2020) and attempts to give an initial assessment from a theological perspective. Since Marion’s programme is largely indebted to the Roman Catholic theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar’s own project, first I give an overview of the Balthasarian phenomenal approach to revelation famously termed “aesthetic theology”. Next, I present Marion’s ideas concerning the convergence between the phenomenological and the theological enterprise. The third part examines the theological rationale behind Marion’s phenomenal model of the Trinity that again can be seen as relying significantly on Balthasarian trinitarian theology. In this section, I give an overview of the idea of the relationship between the immanent and the economic Trinity, and I inspect notions, such as trinitarian distance, kenosis and Marion’s own concept elsewhere. The fourth section gives an outline of Marion’s phenomenal model of the trinity where he develops a new trinitarian triad based on a phenomenal approach. The closing section reflects on the advantages and difficulties of Marion’s project. Full article
15 pages, 1435 KiB  
Article
Scribal Revelations in Ancient Judaism
by Ida Fröhlich
Religions 2024, 15(1), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15010131 - 20 Jan 2024
Viewed by 845
Abstract
Revelations, visions and their interpretations create in themselves authority. In early Jewish Aramaic tradition, however, this is increased by the role of writing. Enoch receives revelations of the secrets of heaven from heavenly tablets by the Holy Watchers. The Fallen Watchers teach the [...] Read more.
Revelations, visions and their interpretations create in themselves authority. In early Jewish Aramaic tradition, however, this is increased by the role of writing. Enoch receives revelations of the secrets of heaven from heavenly tablets by the Holy Watchers. The Fallen Watchers teach the earthly women magic and sorcery from tablets stolen from the heaven. Scribalism in Second Temple period Judaism and Enoch is becoming more and more researched. As is known, Enoch has a Mesopotamian scholarly tradition behind it, which saw the movement of the celestial bodies as a heavenly writing, the transmission of the will of the gods. Enochic scribes had a good familiarity with the Mesopotamian scribal tradition that took place in the sanctuaries from the Persian period onwards and whose purpose was to record astronomical observations, write diaries, prepare astronomical tables and produce almanacs recording events. Scholarly texts were considered as “secret” or “exclusive” knowledge. The omen list Enūma Anu Enlil, based on a 360-day calendar, was the pinnacle of the scribal tradition and the basis of Mesopotamian astral magic. The Mesopotamian revelatory form in Enoch serves to assert the authority of a calendrical system of its own, the 364-day year and the Holy Watchers and other angelic beings who govern it. The scribal form of revelation is known in Daniel 7 (also in Aramaic), in which the books opened in heaven contain a revelation about the fate of the fourth empire. The book-revelation of cyclic and linear time is present together in the book of Jubilees, whose chronology is based on the 364-day year, and in which Enoch keeps a record of earthly events on heavenly tablets. Full article

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Landscape and human being: The sacral architecture of Peter Zumthor
Author: Gajer
Highlights: It is worth discussing more about the contemporary Swiss architect Peter Zumthor’s sacral buildings and his theoretical and philosophical background in relation to the interpretation of sacred space and the phenomenology of sacrality.

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